BANGALORE — If eyes roll when talk turns to India’s promise as a high-tech innovation hub, it’s understandable; certainly, that promise remains unrealized. Still, there are signs everywhere of an emerging entrepreneurial class, and potentially game-changing ideas are being hatched not only among the country’s IT establishment, but also in the humblest corners of a land where 70 percent of the population of 1.2 billion still scrapes by on half a dollar a day.
“We get literally 30 to 40 ideas from entrepreneurs every week. Not all are great, but there is a lot of confidence and enthusiasm,” said N.R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor and co-founder of Infosys Technologies and the founder of $129 million venture capital firm Catamaran, symbolically named for the light, nimble craft used by local fishermen. India’s 8.5 percent GDP growth has engendered “tremendous confidence in the country among the younger generation,” Murthy said. “A lot of them are willing to take risk; they have understood the power of entrepreneurship and wealth creation.”
If you’re wondering how India might go about reinventing itself as a country known for its inventions, cast a glance at some of its prosperous Asian neighbors. “India has to move away from the me-too mindset. If a product or service comes out of the U.S. or elsewhere, there is a tendency to think that it should be copied here, probably tweaked a bit to fit into the Indian environment,” said Bob Kondamoori, managing director of venture capitalist firm Sandalwood Partners. But Japan, too, “was into the copy act” before its engineers and entrepreneurs became innovators, Kondamoori noted. “Then came China. [Now] you see a tremendous amount of innovation coming from these two countries, as well as from Taiwan.
“It’s just a matter of time before India emerges from its cocoon.”
India watchers note that world-changing innovations like the transistor, the PC, the cell phone and the Internet didn’t spring from arid soil but were nurtured in rich R&D environments where the supporting ecosystem was already well established. In contrast, India’s infrastructure buildout began in earnest only three decades ago.
Your article is without merit
Who does your legal due diligence on Sandalwood Partners and Bob Kondamoori
the fella is a fake with "NO FUND" in India, check with the SEBI here and has duped investors millions in India. His CFO (Ajay Jalan) and him are embroiled in an internal rape charge here in Bangalore, India
make your queries and do not believe a word this crook has to say
previously duped investor
I would like to know how many of those ideas did Catamaran consider worth investing in? Great to know about "lot of confidence and enthusiasm" to generate ideas. I had a feeling that in India many brilliant students don't get a chance to choose their career based on what they love to do, but rather it depends on what opportunity they get. There are lots of opportunities in IT. I've seen many students good in electronics choosing IT as their career not because they love IT as their profession, but because they got recruited by one of many IT farms visiting their institute. I think better ideas could get generated by the engineers who love their domain of work. India is doing good in IT but I doubt about other sectors including electronics. Indian Govt. needs to help supporting those sectors. Also India must have better infrastructure (better manufacturing facilities) to support implementation of good ideas.
Almost all mutinational comapnies have there presence in India. Due to the growing market. But I guess India has to work with diversities issues and make development the only goal. Which is easier to say but difficult to achieve. But yes the article brings out the innovations in minds of young Indians. And surely there are many more but could not see the light because they cannot reach the mainstream media.
Well you are correct. The government does support software growth. But I guess the diversities are too much to concentrate on few things. But with so many diversities still things are shaping up very well.
Developing nations like India must find a spot on this planet by moving into technology areas where they can differentiate. Frugal engineering, alternative sources of energy where local raw materials are available, etc, will make all the differences. Going to compete with IBM on the fastest computer will not work. Great article.
@Nic_Mchoff --- There is not even 10% of engineers coming back to India after completeing their master degree in west. This is mainly due to majority of people in India are brought up with poor facilities around them and made to think to have a better luxurious life as the only ambition. Certainly there will be people with good ambitions and they will thin little more than me too attitude and many enterprenures.
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